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Housing Construction Cycles and Interest Rates

  • Laura Berger-Thomson

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Luci Ellis

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Housing investment is one of the most cyclical components of GDP. Much of that cyclicality stems from the sector’s sensitivity to interest rates, but it is also possible that construction lags generate intrinsic cyclicality in this sector. Although the housing sector is generally considered to be more interest-sensitive than the economy as a whole, the degree of this sensitivity seems to vary between countries and through time. In this paper, we model the housing markets in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada using a structural three-stage least-squares system. We document the variations in the housing sector’s cyclicality and sensitivity to movements in interest rates, and attempt to determine the underlying causes of these differences.

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Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp2004-08.

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Date of creation: Oct 2004
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Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2004-08
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  1. Luci Ellis & Dan Andrews, 2001. "City Sizes, Housing Costs, and Wealth," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2001-08, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  2. Stein, Jeremy C, 1995. "Prices and Trading Volume in the Housing Market: A Model with Down-Payment Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 379-406, May.
  3. Henderson, J Vernon & Ionnides, Yannis M, 1986. "Tenure Choice and the Demand for Housing," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210), pages 231-46, May.
  4. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 943, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Sven Rady, 1998. "Boom In, Bust Out: Young Households and the Housing Price Cycle," FMG Discussion Papers dp310, Financial Markets Group.
  6. Meen, Geoffrey, 2000. "Housing Cycles and Efficiency," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 47(2), pages 114-40, May.
  7. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, . "The Impact of Zoning on Housing Affordability," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 395, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
  8. Stuart S. Rosenthal, 1999. "Residential Buildings And The Cost Of Construction: New Evidence On The Efficiency Of The Housing Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 288-302, May.
  9. Kenny, Geoff, 1999. "Modelling the demand and supply sides of the housing market: evidence from Ireland1," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 389-409, August.
  10. Topel, Robert H & Rosen, Sherwin, 1988. "Housing Investment in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 718-40, August.
  11. Bai, Jushan & Lumsdaine, Robin L & Stock, James H, 1998. "Testing for and Dating Common Breaks in Multivariate Time Series," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 395-432, July.
  12. Henderson, J Vernon & Ioannides, Yannis M, 1983. "A Model of Housing Tenure Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 98-113, March.
  13. Kostas Tsatsaronis & Haibin Zhu, 2004. "What drives housing price dynamics: cross-country evidence," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
  14. Ioannides, Yannis M & Rosenthal, Stuart S, 1994. "Estimating the Consumption and Investment Demands for Housing and Their Effect on Housing Tenure Status," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 127-41, February.
  15. Steven C. Bourassa & Patric H. Hendershott, 1995. "Australian Capital City Real House Prices, 1979-1993," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 28(3), pages 16-26.
  16. Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1994. "The UK Consumption Boom of the Late 1980s: Aggregate Implications of Microeconomic Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1269-1302, November.
  17. Jonathan McCarthy & Richard W. Peach, 2002. "Monetary policy transmission to residential investment," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 139-158.
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